. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: January 17, 2001

Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Bangkok, Thailand to Delhi, India
Thailand's FlagIndia's FlagBangkok's Flag

Map
Delhi, India:
Latitude: 28° 38' 29" North
Longitude: 77° 10' 46" East
Altitude: 850 feet
From Seattle: 8808 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Megha Palace

Map
Today's Travel:
Countries: Thailand, India
Regions: Bangkok, Delhi
Route: Air India flight 305: Bangkok - Delhi
Path:Bangkok, Thailand - Delhi, India
Linear:1892 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny

Available Photos:

House boat Bangkok, Thailand

Monks on river boat Bangkok, Thailand

View down river towards the Temple of the Dawn Bangkok, Thailand

View down river towards the Temple of the Dawn Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1378
Linear Dist: 269728
Countries Visited: 74
Regions Visited: 275
More stats...
Hotels: 518
Friends / Family: 338
Camping: 130
Hostels: 262
Transit: 86
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4511
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Journal Entry:
In the morning packed then took a shower. In the shower I started to shave then realized that between the new shaving oil and the old razor I was butchering my face. I decided I couldn't stop half way done so I continued. After getting out of the shower I looked in the mirror - I've got dozens of scratches on my face and neck - it looks like I got in a fight with a cat - I had no idea I was doing that kind of damage! Looking at the razor it wasn't just dull, it was broken.

After breakfast I checked out, left my luggage and tried to call Delhi to make a room reservation for tonight. I couldn't get through on the phone, but after talking to some people at the guest house it didn't sound like there would be a problem. It's finally a beautiful day so I caught a river boat down to the grand palace to take some pictures. Last time I was in Bangkok the day I went to the bejeweled Grand Palace it was overcast so I wanted to take some pictures in the sun. I was still a little nervous about getting on the flight tonight (it just seemed like getting a ticket on the sold out plane had been a little too easy) so I wanted to be on my way to the airport plenty early. Since I didn't have time to go in to the palace grounds I just took pictures from the outside and entry gate.

After leaving the palace I walked up to Khao San Road. My friend Stacy had sent me email requesting that I send her some skirts - 17 of them! She's just moved down to Micronesia and apparently there's a shortage of things to where so she's buying clothes for all the expats and aid workers on her island. Or rather, I'm buying them. I found someplace that was willing to sell them to me for 80 baht (less than $2) each in that quantity and picked them out (she trusted my taste? this will teach her). Then I needed to wade through the post office bureaucracy and post them to her. It really wasn't that bad, but it still took an hour and then it was time to get on my way.

Walked back to the guest house, got my stuff together and set out to find a taxi. I was actually running about half an hour later than I'd hoped, so I was very glad to find a taxi just outside the guesthouse. Further more he was an insane driver - dodging through traffic and hitting speeds of 150 kilometers an hour (90+ mph)! But the hour trip only took 35 minutes so I was back on schedule. I was glad that I hadn't told him I was in a hurry! There was no problems with my tickets and checked in and went through immigration without any problems. Wasted my time wandering through Bangkok's huge, modern duty free area. There are dozens of stores that sell the same things - in fact when you look closely you realize they're all the same store, it just each one is arranged differently to make it look different.

The flight wasn't very comfortable. Air India has the smallest seats I've ever seen - even smaller than Northwest! But the meal was the best airplane food I've ever had, and the flight was smooth and passed quickly. About an hour out I really started to stress about landing in Delhi after dark - I've heard so many nightmare stories about Delhi. Though I was glad to find that I was also very excited.

Immigration was slow, but no problems. Customs was the same and then I was outside - and it wasn't a problem at all. There were a few taxi touts, but not nearly as bad as Egypt, Morocco, or a dozen other places. I was easily able to find the pre-paid taxi stand, buy a ticket, and find my taxi. The whole airport experience went very smoothly and I was thinking that landing at night might be a whole lot easier than in the day. Traffic from the airport was fairly bad - apparently trucks aren't allowed in Delhi during the day so they all have to make their rounds at night. It wasn't too bad, as I really enjoyed the elaborately decorated rear differentials on most of trucks.

When I got to Pahranj - the section of Delhi that I had a recommended guest house for - we couldn't find the guest house. The taxi drove around for about an hour but we couldn't find it - did see a couple cows wandering the streets though. So the drivers (there were two - and they took turns) wanted me to go to a tourist office where the guy wouldn't give me directions and just insisted that all the hotels in Delhi were full due to a festival, but he could find me a room for $40. I realized it had to be a scam and set off with my drivers again - this time me navigating from my guide book - which also failed. Nearly an hour later They took me to a different tourist office and I got the same story. The guy there made some calls and told me the same thing. I still thought it was a scam so he let me use the phone - every hotel in the book was full - even the expensive ones.

I let the taxi go and started to think about staying up all night and leaving Delhi first thing in the morning. The guy at the the tourist office turned out to be very nice and explained where it might be good to go. He suggested heading for Allahabad - where the festival (and the 16 million pilgrims coming through Delhi are headed). The festival is Maha Kumbh Mela which only happens every twelve years and is one of Hinduism's holiest. More talking, and eventually he has a 14 day itinerary that takes me from Delhi to Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore National Park), Khajusaho, Veranasi, and Mumbai (Bombay) for only $670! Needless to say I don't sign up. Actually setting up a few days in a row with taxi, hotel, and train tickets included does sound a little appealing. It would allow me to get a grip on what's going on much easier and then I should be able to handle things on my own. I told him I needed to read up and decide what I want to do and that I would talk to him tomorrow. By this time it was nearly one in the morning and he suggested we go by a nearby hotel. At the hotel they were able to put a mattress on the floor of a small store room, and promised me a room by five tomorrow morning. So I agreed to stay tonight and tomorrow night for about $30 a night. They got the store room cleared out and set up and by the time I got to sleep it was after three.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: India
CIA - The World Factbook: India

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